Walmart and The Disney Company are requiring full vaccinations against COVID-19 for their management and salaried employees. Walmart is also offering a bonus to employees who have not been vaccinated if they get the shots.
This news comes as reports come in that vaccine holdouts are “rolling up their sleeves” in holdout states like Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri.
“My friend works at the hospital, and she told me there’s 18-year-olds on ventilators. That scared me,” Tyler Sprenkle, a recent high school graduate in Goodman, Mo., who got a shot, told The Washington Post this week.
In Arkansas, Chelsah Skaggs discovered that a claim the shots would cause infertility was false and dropped her opposition to getting vaccinated.
“Skepticism is a good thing,” Skaggs told the Post. “But to be ignorant is a different issue. My only regret is not doing it sooner.”
More than 4.7 million newly vaccinated Americans have made similar calculations in the past two weeks, as misgivings about the shots based on ideology, apathy or fear have taken a back seat to the desire to protect themselves and their loved ones.
More than 856,000 doses were administered Friday, the highest daily figure since July 3, according to The Washington Post’s vaccine tracker. This was the third week that states with the highest numbers of coronavirus cases also had the highest vaccination numbers, deputy White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a briefing Friday.
Vaccine-hesitant pockets of the country turned hot spots, are at the vanguard, including Louisiana, which experienced a 114 percent increase in uptake, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Arkansas recorded a 96 percent increase, Alabama, 65 percent, and Missouri, 49 percent.
Let’s hope this surge of common sense reaches Floyd County, where only 40 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, well below the Virginia average of 52 percent.
Notes a statement from Virginia Health Care Organizations Encouraging People to be Vaccinated Against COVID-19:
COVID-19 continues to pose the greatest health risks to people who have not been vaccinated, with officials at the CDC now describing it as a ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated.’ Virginia Department of Health data likewise shows that since late January when vaccines first became available to the general public in the Commonwealth, the vast majority of cases (99.4%), hospitalizations (99%), and deaths (99.3%) have occurred among people who have not been vaccinated.
At the two most recent meetings of the Floyd County Board of Supervisors, I heard at least two in the audience claim that the vaccines are “a hoax,” One said COVID-19 is “a vile conspiracy from the liberals.”
Tesha Montgomery, the vaccine clinic director for Houston Methodist Hospital, says latecomers to a realization they need the vaccine come from “family members and other loved ones who have gone through illness, hospitalizations and even death.”
Twice this week, the increase of new cases has topped 100,000 nationwide. New cases in Virginia topped 1,000 three days in a row, and Floyd County’s new cases went up from one a day to three in Friday’s report from the Virginia Department of Health.
Even Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, whose party is split over vaccinations and other need to fight the virus, is now a supporter of shots.
“These shots need to get in everybody’s arms as rapidly as possible, or we’re going to be back in a situation in the fall that we don’t yearn for — that we went through last year,” McConnell said this week. “This is not complicated.”